Partnership with Vertical Aerospace for Implementation of Air Mobility
~ Aiming to create a society where safe and sustainable air travel blends into everyday life ~
Sep. 24. 2021
Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, "Marubeni") and Marubeni Aerospace Corporation have concluded a business partnership (hereinafter, the “Partnership”) with Vertical Aerospace Group Ltd. (hereinafter, "Vertical"), a pioneer in the development of electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing(*1) (hereinafter, “eVTOL”), to carry out market research for the purpose of commercialization of the air mobility(*2) in Japan.
Air mobility is attracting worldwide attention as a next-generation means of transportation. As of the end of 2019, the number of passenger aircrafts in operation was about 24,000 and the number of air mobility is expected to reach about 100,000 in the future. The development and certification of eVTOL and the creation of rules related t o its operation are progressing rapidly mainly in Europe and the United States. In Japan, the Government has announced the "Roadmap for the Air Mobility Revolution", which has set the goal of commercialization of the transportation of people and goods by "air mobility" after 2023. In recent years, Japan has also seen a general growing interest in air mobility.
The eVTOL used in air mobility is electric and so greenhouse gas emissions are significantly less than that of traditional aircrafts which use fossil fuels and it is expected to make a significant contribution to climate change countermeasures in the aviation industry.
With support from the UK government, Vertical is developing eVTOL in collaboration with European certification agencies and in partnership with the world's leading aviation companies. In addition, Vertical is attracting a great deal of attention as they are going public in the United States through a merger transaction with SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) and have already received orders up to 1,000 aircrafts from Airlines and Aircraft Leasing Company.
Marubeni will utilize its know-how cultivated through its network in the aviation industry and diversified business activities to promote the implementation of air mobility in Japan, such as the formation of the ecosystem necessary for operations, in collaboration with Vertical. Marubeni will create a society where air travel is safer and more accessible, and at the same time will contribute to climate change countermeasures, including low-carbon and decarbonization.
【Overview of the Partnership】
●Market research in Japan
●Investigation of issues related to eVTOL aircraft certification
●Research of infrastructure, such as takeoff and landing ports, that is necessary to achieve eVTOL operation
●Efforts to improve and foster social acceptance
(*1) electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing: Electric aircrafts that can take off and land vertically
(*2) air mobility: A familiar and easy way to move through the sky. Air mobility can refer to next-generation aircrafts that are "electric", "autonomous (piloted)” or use "vertical take-off and landing", but the term is not limited to these things; hybrids with internal combustion engines, manned maneuver, and horizontal takeoff and landing air mobility is also being developed. In the future, advanced autonomous flight systems are expected to achieve safe autopilot without human error. Also, air mobility that can take-off and landing vertically enables movement from point to point with compact infrastructure.
<Images of Vertical Aerospace’s eVTOL>
|Company Name||Vertical Aerospace Group Ltd.|
|Founder & CEO||Stephen Fitzpatrick|
|Business||Development, manufacture and sales of eVTOL|
|【About Vertical’s eVTOL Development】|
|Aircraft Name||VA-X4 (Mass production aircraft)|
|Type Certificate||Scheduled to be approved by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2024|
|Specification||5-seats (including 1 pilot)
* Shift to remote / autonomous flight in the future
Range = 100+ mile (about 160+km)
Maximum speed = 202 mph (approx. 325 km / h)
* Flight between Tokyo Station and Narita Airport takes about 14 minutes